Army shows off on media day

Center of attention, new fullback Jared Hassin gets interviewed Monday. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Just posting a couple quick photos from media day at West Point today.

Big news: the majority of the team favors frosted flakes and Capt’n Crunch for breakfast. Word is, though, that coach Rich Ellerson has banned the Capt’n from the team this summer. Ouch.

Trent Steelman soaks in the day from the bench. (Danny Wild/USMA)

I’ll post a bunch more photos later, promise.

Update 4:30 pmmedia day is a lot like spring training in baseball, with blue skies, puffy clouds and a sea of [fake] green grass to soak in at Michie Stadium. It’s a pretty relaxed event, with a collection of video crews, reporters and photographers mingling around the field — I think everyone was a little excited to be back around football.

For some of these players, it will be the only chance they get to suit up in full uniform and take the field at Michie. For others, it’s the start of what they believe will be a different type of year.

Senior SB Pat Mealy chats with the media. (Danny Wild/USMA)

One of the funniest parts of the whole morning was listening to the players get grilled on the videoboard hot seat — each player was asked a set of questions, typically the responses are later played during games at Michie.

Most everyone pledged allegiance to Frosted Flakes and Cap’n Crunch. This would be an appropriate time for me to note that I am very securely with Tony the Tiger when it comes to this. Josh McNary impressed me (of course) by explaining he had very recently transitioned from Fruity Pebbles to Frosted Flakes. Well played.

Senior DE Josh McNary (left) proclaimed his love for Frosted Flakes, while teammates watched on the side. (Danny Wild/USMA)

McNary also spoke more seriously about the upcoming year, although he was just as excited about it as he was his cereal choice.

Josh McNary. (Danny Wild/USMA)

“I can’t wait. I’m ecstatic to have all my brothers around me,” McNary said. “We all have the same goal in mind, which is to turn this program around. This is the most confident and the most ambitious we’ve been in quite some time.

“We feel like we can come out and get to a bowl game, get the CIC trophy, and really do great things for this program.”

Jared Hassin was the last player to leave the field — in fact, he was still out there chatting with a group fans when I left. He’s now wearing No. 7 (he was 34 in spring ball) and looked pretty comfortable with all the mics in his face.

Rich Ellerson was in a good mood. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Asked what would be his dream game and stadium to play in, he replied, “Other than Michie Stadium?” Good man.

The Army Athletics staff was around to assist video teams setup quick interviews… a crowded encircled Ellerson for a bit.  (Rich did catch me scoping him out and gave me a smile though).

“I know we’re better, and I expect to be successful,” head coach Rich Ellerson said. “ I also expect it’s going to be very hard. I expect that there is going to be some adversity and some bumps in the road. We’re going to find out some things about ourselves as this thing unwinds.”

I won’t name names, but one player did tell me senior SB Jameson Carter is indeed not participating this season, rather opting to focus on academics and graduating.

To describe the setup of the day: players typically stayed in groups, having headshots taken, posed photos with a ball, snapping group shots with their teammates with their cell phones, etc.

Sophomore QB Trent Steelman was relaxed as could be, staying until the end to film some video sequences of him passing. I got down on the ground and took a few frames and video of him with my new camera:

Stormy clouds roll in over Michie Stadium and Trent Steelman. (Danny Wild/USMA)

One of my favorite images from the day was of Pat Mealy, who nearly ended my life with a quick burst past my head and fisheye lens during a video filming moment. Gotta get close to get the good stuff, check it out:

Senior Pat Mealy runs during media day. (Danny Wild/USMA)

“We have very high expectations,” said senior captain Stephen Anderson.

“I want to lead this team to a bowl game this year,” said Steelman.

“We’ve been here expecting to win and go to a bowl game,” said senior DE Marcus Hilton. “We want to prove the skeptics wrong.”

“They’re back with their brothers, they’re sharing their experiences, they’re excited for what’s about to happen,” said Ellerson. There is a lot of excitement.”

Ready for kickoff? Want to see more? Check out my set on Flickr, I’ll get more up later on when I have some time.

Also several of my photos are included in Army’s photo album and recap of media day, take a look.

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